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Tabletop Simulator: Part 1 (Overview)
Head in the Clouds
Updated: Wednesday, Apr 29, 2015
Chaz Marler from Pair Of Dice Paradise here, and the segment I was planning, on the best game to play while struck in a grain elevator with a pack of feral cats, will have to wait, because I received a question! (It’s Alchemists, by the way.)

This question comes from @JennDavis1987 on Twitter, who asks:
"Hey Chaz, what are your thoughts on Tabletop Simulator?"

An excellent question, Jennifer, which I will answer, in detail eventually... But first, for those not in the know, let’s start with a description of what Tabletop Simulator is.

Tabletop Simulator is a software application available through the not at all obnoxious Steam platform. Now, many of us have heard of, and perhaps played on, websites such as Board Game Arena and Bwah-Tuh-Zoh… Bwuh-Tah… Bweh… this one. But, whereas those websites are more like an online recreation of a board game, including enforcement of its rules, Tabletop Simulator is different, because it is just a sandbox. It provides an online environment and development tools for people to create virtual versions of board games, but there’s no rules implementation or action restrictions.

For example, logging on to play the version of Chess that’s available would be just like sitting down at a virtual table with the game. The pieces replicate their physical interaction with each other and their environment, but each player would need to know, and adhere to, the rules of the game, otherwise, it could just descend into chaos.

In fact, there’s a lot of chaos and table flipping in their demo videos. I don’t know why they think gamers would be excited about this. It’s like advertising a new car by demonstrating how well the airbags deploy when you inevitably smash it into a grain elevator.

My initial impression is that this could be an incredible resource for RPG games. But, since this is a series more about board games, like Alchemists I will elaborate on my thoughts on Tabletop Simulator as it relates to board games… and I’ll do so in the next episode.

In the meantime, what’s your opinion of Tabletop Simulator? Revolutionary board gaming resource in the making, or just a technological flash in the pan? Let me know in the comments below, because I… I yearn for your feedback.
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